Earth Day Canada is in the midst of launching a new initiative called EarthPLAY, the purpose of which is to connect children and youth to nature through unstructured outdoor play. A key component of this is a pilot project with six schools in Toronto, funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, wherein teachers, staff and students are introduced to the UK-based OPAL (Outdoor Play and Learning) approach. The visionary behind OPAL is Michael Follett, who was able to fly to Earth Day Canada's headquarters this past May thanks to the Aeroplan member donation program.
He spent two weeks with EDC's play team in Toronto, touring schools to conduct site visits and play audits, educate teachers and staff on OPAL methodology, and guide the initial stages of our pilot project. The feedback thus far has been incredibly positive and EDC is fortunate to have deepened our relationship with Michael and our understanding of how OPAL can be adapted to schools here in Canada.
To learn more about EDC's EarthPLAY program, visit earthplay.ca.